New Rotary President Sets Out Goals

New St. Marys Rotary President Zach Ferral speaks to Rotarians on Wednesday. Ferral’s first speech as president was engaging in his views of the club for the 2018-19 year.
Managing Editor

Wednesday’s St. Marys Rotary meeting was the start of a new year in some ways as new Rotary President Zach Ferrall made his first speech to Rotarians. He is taking over for now-past president Jeff Squire in the club’s 80th year.

“The state of our club is strong,” Ferrall said to open the first minute of his speech.

Ferrall — a 2005 graduate of St. Marys Memorial High School and a criminal justice degree from the University of Cincinnati — has been a St. Marys Rotary member for five years and served as President Elect in the 2017-18 year under Squire.

Aside from his new role as club president, Ferrall is a well-known public figure in the community as  a lawyer with Noble, Montague & Moul, LLC on Spring Street.

After telling Rotarians about the roles other members are in, such as Squire as past president and Travis Elsass as the new president elect, Ferrall’s speech revolved around the club staying engaged in the community and finding new ways to be an inspiration to others.

As Ferrall went through each club, he showed a PowerPoint of what Rotary has done and what goals he wants to fulfill as president.

In club service, Ferrall pointed out the programs Rotary is involved with locally, such as the Carp Derby and being a supporter of the YMCA as well as “happy dollars” and “fines” that the club does before every meeting to raise money for scholarships for local students.

“I would like for us to have more external meetings,” Ferrall added. “We have had some external meetings since I have been in Rotary at Otterbein — I would love for any companies — AAP, MTO, I would love to have a meeting there and see our local industries.

“I think it would be great to get out in our community and get us to be able to see things in the community.”

Under vocational services, Ferrall spotlighted some of what the club does, including inviting seniors to Rotary meetings as a way to mentor high school seniors.

“It helps a lot,” he said. “I didn’t know about Rotary when I was in high school and at that time, we did not come to Rotary.”

Ferrall pointed out that he has been in discussion with the Rotary’s Interact Club about a career mentoring program for high school students.

“I am very excited about this,” Ferrall said. “This is actually one of their goals from Rotary International. We are going to ask them what their career aspirations are and we are going to match up Rotarians, or friends of Rotarians with them as far as a career mentoring. They don’t do a formal job shadow anymore and I think this is going to add value to their club.”

Rotary is still active in a number of community events, Ferrall said, such as promenade, the halloween parade, literacy projects and others and Ferrall would like to see Rotary take on improvement projects in the community, such as updating the covered bridge over the St. Marys River as part of a revitalization project.

“The city is on board with helping restore the bridge,” Ferrall said. “The bridge has been there for 25 to 30 years and it is not looking awful, but there are particular plaques that are clouded and scratched up and the bridge itself could use a power wash.

“I think it will be fun and it won’t be a huge project and the city has also pledged to help with that.”